‘Lyrically Infected’ is the debut album from Straight Paper Jacque and doesn’t stray far from what you would expect from a UK Rap album, however there are definitely some undeniable moments of brilliance here.

Growing up in Tower Hamlets, Jacque had involvement in the growing grime scene of east London before a brief spell in prison where he took the time to develop his craft and has produced ‘Lyrically Infected’, a ten track album that’s a mixed bag and feels like a record in which Jacque is discovering himself as an artist, trying his hand at a range of styles with varied success.  

I have to admire Jacques artistic versatility on the record, even if not all the shots hit the target, there is serious quality to be seen most notably on the front end with ‘Lofi Jacque’. He feels comfortable here, as his vocal complements the excellently crafted jazzy boom bap to a tea, with his best lyrical work of the project and a style I would love to see more of.

‘Stay In Your Lane’ the closer to the album, is definitely worthy of commandment and is another shine of quality, featuring stellar production and an addictive lead synth which worms through the track as well as excellent lyrical structure from Jacques.

The cut on the back end of the record ‘Speakers On’ is a miss step from Jacques, with a clunky beat, cranked auto-tune and lyrical content which is cringy, awkward and just uncomfortable to listen to, overall a real dud on the LP.

The biggest flaw with the album is that it’s hard to pinpoint Straight Paper Jacques’s sound, especially with this being his debut project I would have liked to have seen more risks taken with both the production and the writing to define Jacques in what is a very populated genre.

‘Lyrically Infected’ is by no means a poor record, it may be disjointed and awkward at times but this is an artist in his infancy and I have massive respect for the journey Jacques covers in his lyrics here, creating a piece of work in which people in similar circumstances can relate to and there is a real beauty in that. However, the record does leave me wishing there was a little more personality within the production and flows, given the talent shown.